The High Court of Kenya has granted reprieve to three South Sudanese law students who had been locked out of sitting the bar exam in order to be admitted as advocates in Kenya.
Justice Enoch Chacha Mwita issued temporary orders allowing Steve Kawai, Mangok Akuot and Miji Wongo to sit for their bar examinations and also directed that the matter comes up in court on December 17.
“Pending the hearing and determination of this case, the Council of Legal Education and the Kenya School of Law are hereby ordered to allow the petitioners to sit for the bar examination scheduled to start on November 15,” the judge said.
The Council said the Advocates Act limits eligibility for admission to the roll of advocates to citizens of Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania.
The three were admitted at Kenya School of Law on December 7, 2017 and they registered and paid to sit for the bar exam on September 21. Their names were among those gazetted on August 8 as qualifying to sit for the exam and they got their examination cards on October 31.
The students want the court to interpret a section of the Advocates Act that excludes their country and declare it unconstitutional as well as invalid on the basis that South Sudan is a member of the East African Community.
The case will be heard on December 17.